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New here with a question
07-05-2016, 06:24 PM
Post: #1
Shocked New here with a question
Hi everyone! This site has been super helpful and informative! I feel like I have learned a lot already and I've only just discovered this site about a week ago.

***I am 6'0", almost 37 years old, and today 164 lbs. A week ago I was 160. I workout 6 days a week doing P90X3 and I used to run 3 days a week (Just did a half marathon on 6/5/16). Lately I have been walking 3 miles 2-3 days a week and doing the 30 minutes P90X3 workouts. I want to tone up and see definition in my muscles and that is why I began p90. Now I just need to get my nutrition figured out.

Here's my question: when you calculate your TDEE, do you include the calories burned from that day's exercise? Or is that already factored into the TDEE amounts that you see on the online calculators when you select different levels of activity?

I have a Garmin Vivoactive watch and the Garmin Connect app gives me an approximate TDEE of 2100-2400 calories each day (including the exercise that is logged with my heart rate monitor). When I track my calories in My Fitness Pal, it gives me a rough TDEE of 2140 to "maintain my weight" and then allows more calories when I have burned calories in my workouts. So today for example, I should be eating 2400 to off set the calories burned from my workout-according to My Fitness Pal.

Basically, I am trying to figure out if I am close to figuring out my TDEE (and I know-I should be more patient). I was eating about 1600-1800 calories a day for a long time (I really have no idea how long maybe 1-2 years off and on). Then in April 2016, I realized when I started P90X3 I wasn't losing an ounce, so I cut calories even more (DUMB!!) and when I was tracking then (April/May/June) I was eating maybe 1200-1400 a day. Sometimes less. And I wasn't hungry. So, one week ago, 6/26/2016, I ate up to my TDEE (or close) because I am more of a "rip the band aid off" kind of person. ;-) Below is my info: date, calories eaten and weight. As you can see there are a couple days where I CLEARLY overate. What I am wondering is if I settle around 2200, if that would be my TDEE so I am curious if I should add extra workout calories to that amount or not???

6/26/2016 1963 160lbs
6/27/16 2419 161.4
6/28/16 2202 163
6/29/16 2673 162.2
6/30/16 2223 162.6
7/1/16 2270 163.4
7/2/16 2300-2500 (attended a wedding) 163.0
7/3/16 2800+ 163.8
7/4/16 2800+ (EEK! BBQ for 4th) 165.8
7/5/16 not totaled yet 164.0

I appreciate any help and feedback! Thank you so much!! :-)
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07-05-2016, 10:18 PM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2016 06:27 AM by AnitraSoto.)
Post: #2
RE: New here with a question
First of all, welcome! So glad you have found us and gotten started!

The increase on the scale is simply water weight that was gained as your glycogen stores were refilled. Normally, if you make the increases slowly this gain will trend back downwards over a week or so. However, because you jumped right up to your TDEE it may take a while for your metabolism to "catch up". If it has been suppressed (and it most likely has), then you may potentially be eating over your *suppressed* TDEE right now *until it catches up*. Either way, it's not a big deal, you may just see a few pounds extra on the scale until you work your way through the process and allow your metabolism to catch up. In the meantime you should have lots of energy for some killer workouts!

When you figure out your TDEE, all of your exercise is factored into that number. But since you have a Garmin, just go with that number since it is actually on your body sensing your activity. Just look at the TDEE over the past month and take an average and work towards that number.

As far as the exercise calories, no you do not add anything on... It's easiest to figure out your monthly average TDEE on the Garmin, and then just simply go into MFP and set your goals according to that number and try to reach that goal each day. You don't really even need to look at the tracker every day, just work off of the averages it gives you...

In my experience it is easiest to *unsync* your on-body device from MFP, and here is the reasoning: When you have the two linked up the Garmin gives you "credit" for any extra activity you perform and when it does this it adds on to your MFP daily calorie goals. This is no big deal if you know your daily goal is say 2000 and Garmin adds on 150 calories for a more active day changing your goal to 2150. Well, it's easy to remember that your goal is 2000 and simply ignore that 2150 goal MFP is now giving you, but the more irritating thing that it does is that it messes with your macros! It added on to those as well, and now you have to do math or have a really good memory! laughing If you un-sync the two, Garmin will not mess with your MFP goals.

And if you *do* want to log your exercise into MFP, simply change the calories burned to "1" (rather than the default MFP gives you), and again those daily goals you have entered will not be changed.

The main thing to realize is that MFP and Garmin both like to give you "extra credit" for activity. But since you are working off of your TDEE *which already includes all of that activity*, you don't want those extra calories added on...

It's a bit confusing until you grasp the concept, but the bottom line is: keep it simple. Use your Garmin to get an average, set MFP to that average and make that your goal.

Hope that clarifies it, rather than just confusing the situation. If you are more confused than before, just holler!

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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07-06-2016, 02:39 PM
Post: #3
RE: New here with a question
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly!! I appreciate your advice and making things a little simpler for me. :-)

I weighed in again today and I didn't gain weight (which made me happy after 4th of July weekend-eating much more than what I am guessing is my approximate TDEE). My weight today is 163.8, so its back to what it was on 6/28 and between 7/1-7/3. (I know I am probably over analyzing all of this...) I keep rereading the metabolism reset guide and I just want to make sure that it seems like I have found a good spot for my TDEE. I found the average for the last month on my Garmin (2000 TDEE) and that seems a little low to me.... So if my weight stays pretty consistent in the 163/164 area, eating at what I think is my TDEE (2200/2300), I should then stay at this amount? How long? I have seen 8-12 weeks on the metabolism reset? I feel pretty bloated right now and my belly looks pretty fluffy. I know that I haven't gained 3 pounds of fat only on my stomach, but it certainly feels like it right now. I am just hoping that will level off and the bloating feeling will go away if I keep eating like this. I don't want my body to think I am starving and I hate to think of cutting back on my calories if its not good for me. But I am a school teacher and I can't really afford to go buy a bunch of new work clothes that will fit my new tummy. Just looking to see what a reasonable amount of time is to expect some leveling off for my body. (And I know everyone is different. ) But if anyone has anything to say to guide me, I would really appreciate it. :-) Thank you so much!!
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07-06-2016, 08:23 PM
Post: #4
RE: New here with a question
I think you are correct ... that 2,000 sounds too low for you. You are 6 feet tall, and that frame is going to require some calories! A 2300 - 2400 range sounds much more plausible. If you are eating at 2200 - 2300 now, I would hang out here for another week or so, and then if things are still stable, try going up another 100 calories. You really want to keep pushing it upwards (slowly) until you start to see a slow steady gain. At that point, you can assume that you have surpassed your current TDEE and back it off by 100 or 200 calories and reset at that level.

Yes, the bloating will decrease over time. You have to remember, your body is now being forced to digest more food now than before. There is a larger *volume* of food in your digestive tract. And if you are watching your macros, then you are ingesting more protein as well, and that takes longer to move through the system, causing that overly full feeling. Once the body adapts, that feeling should subside.

How long the reset will take depends greatly on your dieting history. The more severe the history, the longer the recovery and healing time. Here are two excellent articles on this portion of the process:

http://eatmore2weighless.com/gaining-wei...ing-reset/

http://eatmore2weighless.com/cant-fix-me...sing-this/

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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08-22-2016, 01:00 AM
Post: #5
RE: New here with a question
I'm in need of a pep talk or some reassurance. If you read my story above, you see that I jumped right up to eating at TDEE. Since then (8 weeks ago)I have gained 10-12 lbs! I'm so frustrated. I've been lifting heavy weight now since July and am really enjoying it. Im scared that my weight will never stop going up. I really am. What do I do? Should my weight still be climbing or am I doing something wrong?
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08-22-2016, 06:29 AM
Post: #6
RE: New here with a question
First of all, know that this is all completely normal, and that this is the hardest part of the journey...

So. what was your Garmin average over the last month? And I assume you are using that to determine your (average) TDEE?

When you began this you were eating 1200 - 1400 calories and then jumped immediately to your estimated TDEE of 2200, is that correct? If so you have to realize that this weight gain is absolutely and completely normal and to be expected. After years of dieting and restriction, our metabolisms eventually slow down and adjust to this lower intake. So, even though your Garmin tells you that you are burning just say 2200 calories a day, if you are dealing with a suppressed metabolism (due to the dieting), then your metabolism is not actually functioning at this level.

When you began, if you were eating 1200 calories a day and maintaining, then that was the level your metabolism had adapted to. When you hopped right up to your estimated TDEE, you have to remember that you were immediately eating about 1000 calories a day *over* where your metabolism was functioning. Until your metabolism adjusts itself back upwards (which it will), you are really eating at a surplus (hence the gain). So initially you may have been eating 1000 calories over your actual TDEE, but as your metabolism kicks into gear and gets humming again, that surplus will become smaller and smaller over time, until it is actually running to meet your intake (2200) again...

If you are still seeing gains, then your metabolism simply has not "caught up" yet... As it does, you will most likely see those gains slow down and eventually stabilize as equilibrium is achieved.

That is why we generally recommend making those increases a bit slower. For instance, if you had started at 1200 and increased to 1300 for a week or two, then your surplus would have been only 100 calories. By waiting the one or two weeks, you give the body time to adjust and acclimate (upwards) to the new intake prior to making another increase. That way, when you take another additional 100 calorie increase you are probably still only at a 100 calorie surplus, rather than 200, because the body has already adapted to the first increase.

Bottom line: you are doing great and just need to allow your metabolism to heal and adjust to the intake, which it will over time... If you are still seeing gains, then your metabolism is simply still functioning at a level below where your Garmin is telling you it *should* be functioning.

Hope this helps happy

Anitra Soto
Team EM2WL
ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer
ISSA Certified Specialist in Senior Fitness

My EM2WL Journey: http://eatmore2weighless.com/never-too-old-anitra/
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09-03-2016, 02:09 PM
Post: #7
RE: New here with a question
Thank you Anitra for your pep talk and encouragement (and for being so prompt at responding.) It is really helpful to know that others understand this journey when feeling down about it. :-)

To answer your question, yes, my Garmin average over the last month has been 2120 active calories. If I have been accurate on MY Fitness Pal, my average calories have been about 2105 per day.

I am still hanging at around the 10-12 lb weight gain (but I have to wait a few days to be sure since its that TOM and I have always fluctuated a lot around then). My clothes are feeling a little snug-especially in the tummy and thighs. The tummy tightness makes me sad but the thighs I understand....I have been lifting for about 1 1/2 months. (Since July 18- I started the workout routines in STRONG by Schuler and Cosgrove and am in Phase 1, halfway through stage 2). I am trying to remain positive that I am doing the right thing (even if I went about it the wrong way by jumping right up to my TDEE.) I love the workouts I am doing! My husband does them with me. I started out doing Goblet squats with like 25 lbs and this week I am doing front squats with 65 lbs and the barbell. (That probably seems like a small amount to some of you but I am feeling pretty darn good about it.) :-)

New question: Would an experienced EM2WLer say that once my metabolism has caught up to my TDEE, I would see the beginning of weight loss or maintenance?? I am 2 weeks away from the 12 week mark of eating up to or near my TDEE. (That's surprising to me-it's already been that long!!) I want to burn fat but I am not super eager to cut calories. I just want to begin to see some of the hard work I've been doing lifting outside the layer of fat I'm still carrying. But I also know that you have to eat over your BMR to build muscle right?? I guess that since I know everyone is different, I am having trouble knowing when I am nearing being "reset"?? Since my weight leveled off 8/22-8/27 (it fluctuated maybe 6 ounces for that week) I thought maybe I was "caught up". But then the next week was a very hormonal pre-menstrual week, so I didn't weigh myself.

Sorry for the rambling posts. I appreciate any help, advice, and/or feedback. I guess the planner/control freak in me wants to ask questions at each step of the way because I want to always make sure I am doing it "right". :-) Thank you!!
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09-03-2016, 03:06 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2016 03:08 PM by emma.)
Post: #8
RE: New here with a question
First, glad you are liking Strong! There's a few of us here who are working through that program.

A far as your questions, once you hit TDEE, you will maintain (but obviously will have normal monthly fluctuations). And you have to eat above your BMR for just basic bodily functions to work properly - your hormones, repair, breathing, digesting food, etc. You have to eat above your TDEE to build muscle. However, you can still build muscle if you are at your TDEE, it just takes a little bit longer (its called recomping, as in body recomposition - lifting consistently and eating enough to maintain your weight will, over time, cause your body composition to improve over time to less fat more muscle). A week isn't enough time to assess if your weight has stabilized; you need a good month. And the only way to know if you have hit TDEE is to surpass it... you will see very slow, very steady gains indicating you are above your TDEE. So my advice is to to get to your estimated TDEE (sounds like you have been) then wait for your weight to stabilize for a month. Once it has, increase your calories slightly, and observe your weight over the next month. If you see some crazy quick ups and downs, that's just water. If you see a graaaaaddduaaaallll increase over the course of that month, you've overshot your TDEE and can back off.

HEad over to Toki's journal... Hannah 77 posted some great conversation on just this subject...
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09-03-2016, 05:32 PM (This post was last modified: 09-03-2016 05:34 PM by hannah77.)
Post: #9
RE: New here with a question
I think the struggle we have is we want to get to the reset so bad. We've already spent a period of time getting to what we think is our TDEE. We don't want to spend any time confirming we are actually there (its like we want to make an Indy 500 pit stop and get back in the race instead of a long distance road trip lunch stop to enjoy the scenery.) What results is we may stop a few hundred calories short of the goal and make our journey more convoluted than it needed to be (ending back up trying to confirm our TDEE which we should have done in the first place). Whether we were the hare, ripping the bandaid off and increasing calories by 1000 a day and putting on 10-20 pounds or the tortoise, slowly and steadily increasing calories 100 at a time and putting on 2-10 pounds, it took some length of time to arrive there. Instead of a journey of 1) increase to estimated TDEE, 2) confirm TDEE, 3) start TDEE/reset, our minds say 1) increase to estimated TDEE and 2) start TDEE/reset like the confirmation of TDEE is just a blip on the screen.

I had read and have read the reset guide many times and I guess until I actually got to the end of journey 1), I was thinking journey 2) would take a week or so. blushing Looking back, there was at least once or twice (and I may be in a third time now) where I thought I was at TDEE, but I really wasn't...even when I was close to or exceeding the calculator. I think first time was right around 2300 or 2400 calories (which is what the calculator had me at for moderate.) I ended up cutting 50 calories which was a big mistake, should have stayed at my calorie level or increased. Problem was I was over-analyzing, telling myself...one less workout = X less calories...I'm near my TDEE, drop a little so I don't exceed...but only using a week of data! Really silly of me when I think about it. Similar situation around 2600 calories (calculator has me at 2653 for strenuous, which I don't think I'm at...but maybe my non-exercise expenditure is > than I think), but I stayed there for two weeks. Was going to hold for a couple more weeks but was reading all the posts about the only way to know you've really hit your TDEE is to surpass it. Tried to rationalize in my own head "But, I don't want to put on any more weight, not even another .5 pounds" (little devil on my left shoulder)! "Oh, what the heck, if that's what I need to do, then I better get to it. It's taken me 3-1/2 months to get here and I don't want to take more time than I have to to confirm TDEE because of a slight gain" (little angel on my right shoulder)! Right now, the angel is winning out....but IT IS HARD!

So, even though I had a reduced workout schedule this week, went ahead and bumped up to 2700. Have I had some weight gain? Yes...is it slow and steady? Too early to tell. Am I exceeding my TDEE? To early to tell. I WILL stay here for the month of September unless I don't see any gains...then up it will have to go again (and will require another mind battle, no doubt!)

I just tell myself who would have thought I could eat so many calories without really gaining? And, when I do reach a time to cut, how ridiculous to be able to still be able to eat 2200/2300/2400 calories?

*\O/* *\O/* *\O/*
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09-03-2016, 05:57 PM
Post: #10
RE: New here with a question
Hannah, what are your stats if you don't mind me asking? I'm really curious because I have been aiming at a TDEE much lower than your 2700....I want to do it right. How do you know yours is that high? You must be very active I bet?

Thank you for your post, too, by the way!

(09-03-2016 05:32 PM)hannah77 Wrote:  I think the struggle we have is we want to get to the reset so bad. We've already spent a period of time getting to what we think is our TDEE. We don't want to spend any time confirming we are actually there (its like we want to make an Indy 500 pit stop and get back in the race instead of a long distance road trip lunch stop to enjoy the scenery.) What results is we may stop a few hundred calories short of the goal and make our journey more convoluted than it needed to be (ending back up trying to confirm our TDEE which we should have done in the first place). Whether we were the hare, ripping the bandaid off and increasing calories by 1000 a day and putting on 10-20 pounds or the tortoise, slowly and steadily increasing calories 100 at a time and putting on 2-10 pounds, it took some length of time to arrive there. Instead of a journey of 1) increase to estimated TDEE, 2) confirm TDEE, 3) start TDEE/reset, our minds say 1) increase to estimated TDEE and 2) start TDEE/reset like the confirmation of TDEE is just a blip on the screen.

I had read and have read the reset guide many times and I guess until I actually got to the end of journey 1), I was thinking journey 2) would take a week or so. blushing Looking back, there was at least once or twice (and I may be in a third time now) where I thought I was at TDEE, but I really wasn't...even when I was close to or exceeding the calculator. I think first time was right around 2300 or 2400 calories (which is what the calculator had me at for moderate.) I ended up cutting 50 calories which was a big mistake, should have stayed at my calorie level or increased. Problem was I was over-analyzing, telling myself...one less workout = X less calories...I'm near my TDEE, drop a little so I don't exceed...but only using a week of data! Really silly of me when I think about it. Similar situation around 2600 calories (calculator has me at 2653 for strenuous, which I don't think I'm at...but maybe my non-exercise expenditure is > than I think), but I stayed there for two weeks. Was going to hold for a couple more weeks but was reading all the posts about the only way to know you've really hit your TDEE is to surpass it. Tried to rationalize in my own head "But, I don't want to put on any more weight, not even another .5 pounds" (little devil on my left shoulder)! "Oh, what the heck, if that's what I need to do, then I better get to it. It's taken me 3-1/2 months to get here and I don't want to take more time than I have to to confirm TDEE because of a slight gain" (little angel on my right shoulder)! Right now, the angel is winning out....but IT IS HARD!

So, even though I had a reduced workout schedule this week, went ahead and bumped up to 2700. Have I had some weight gain? Yes...is it slow and steady? Too early to tell. Am I exceeding my TDEE? To early to tell. I WILL stay here for the month of September unless I don't see any gains...then up it will have to go again (and will require another mind battle, no doubt!)

I just tell myself who would have thought I could eat so many calories without really gaining? And, when I do reach a time to cut, how ridiculous to be able to still be able to eat 2200/2300/2400 calories?

*\O/* *\O/* *\O/*
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